In these days that require social distancing, children spend their time at home with their parents. Parents are facing a major responsibility on top of their daily routine with the transfer of approximately 8 hours of childcare normally offered by schools on every weekday.
Parents who work from home must ensure their children are self-directed and engaged independently in order to maintain an efficient working order.
Without forgetting that this is a temporary situation, you may take a look at the self-care and coping recommendations we offer for parents who spend all their time at home.
Self-Care And Coping For Parents
- Change your daily activities by focusing on the current situation’s reality and what you can achieve in that situation. Alter expectations and priorities to focus more on what gives you meaning, purpose or satisfaction.
- Give yourself small breaks during the day to deal with stress.
- Try to control the negative thoughts and expressions swirling in your head and replace them with more useful/functional ones.
- Remember, you’re a role model for your children. The way you handle this stressful situation can affect how your children manage their concerns and anxieties.
- Keep socializing with technology! Make sure to stay in touch with friends and family by connecting over the phone, by texting, via email and/or on social media. So you can both support them emotionally and give them space to support you.
Routines That Bring Us Closer At Home
1. Set up a routine by talking to your child: Identify any activities to be done on daily basis, such as bed-and-wake schedule, eating (meal frequency), physical activity, play/fun, rest, learning, and establish a pattern together. Pay attention so as not to disrupt the overall flow, rather than getting stuck on the clock.
2. At home, take time to do things that make you and your family feel better in stressful situations.
- watching movies
- listening to music
- playing games
- identify the activities you enjoy together, such as exercising, and make sure you add them in your daily routine.
3. You can put all the tasks and activities that family members must perform on a calendar.
- Write down key dates, respective duties of family members, and collective activities on a large carton (if there are no cartons at home, you can create a board by attaching pieces of paper together).
- Checking the calendar at regular intervals and going over what to do may help you plan this process.
4. “Screen Time Routine”
- Creating a routine for your child is one of the best things you can do during social distancing and isolation.
- Decide together the amount of time your children contact the screen according to their level of development.
- If possible, write down the other available time slots and post them on the wall where the entire family can see, so that your children won’t need to request a screen-related activity outside this time frame.
- Choose to turn off the device completely when the scheduled screen time is up; do not leave the TV as background noise.
- If you feel the house is getting too quiet, turn on some music instead.
- Outside the scheduled time slot, use the screen strictly under your control as only you (parents) need.
5. In this process, you can write letters to friends or relatives that you have not seen in a long time and send them to your relatives via email. This activity will allow your child to express her/his feelings.
6. Ensure that children benefit from remote education opportunities that schools or other institutions/organizations may offer.
7. Find ways to help your children acquire hygiene and health-promoting behaviors.
You can create visuals that will remind and encourage hand washing with your child, paint these images and hang them together around all the sinks in your house. Don’t forget to sing a song as long as it takes washing your hands!
8. Your New Assistant at Home and in the Kitchen: Get your kids involved in housework and cooking!
- Making a division of labor and assuming responsibilities in housework and cooking creates success, cooperation and motivation in children. Housework become more enjoyable for the whole family!
- For everyday tasks such as cooking, you can get help, especially from 7-year-old and older children.
- While cooking, you can create instructive dialogues, such as a science, math, or a reading lesson.
- Let’s talk about how yeast is made!
- What’s a half cup plus a quarter?
- Is this label “baking powder” or “powder”?
- Food provides nutrition as well as opportunities for children everywhere in the world to explore different perceptions and teachings.
- You can make molds from aluminum in the shape of numbers and letters; pour molten chocolate into these molds and let them sit; and pop these chocolate letters and numbers out and write different words/sentences with them. For those that are illegible, you can say, “It’s the time to eat our mistakes!”
9. Discover things you can do together as a family!
Like planning for a movie night, taking on a domestic project you’ve been planning for a long time such as assembling or fixing something together, or even rearranging the furniture.